Sergei Zubov

Stars president: Zubov, Lehtinen jersey retirements ‘absolutely’ being considered

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The Dallas Stars hope their future is bright after adding Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky to a core of forwards that already included Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Stars President Jim Lites also wants to honor the past though and his efforts to do so might lead to the team retiring former defenseman Sergei Zubov and forward Jere Lehtinen’s jerseys.

“Nobody appreciates really the hard work that Sergei Zubov and Jere Lehtinen have done for this franchise,” Lites said, per the Dallas Morning News. “My own feeling is that we’re absolutely going to consider it.

“There’s always a commercial aspect to it. Franchises get accused of exploiting their players and that kind of thing. However it’s done it’s going to be done right. Those two guys were career Dallas Stars … They are the two most significant players that haven’t been put in the Hall of Fame yet, so I think we’re absolutely open to the possibility. But when I get asked the question I always say this: The two I hope to retire for sure are 91 and 14, because if we retire (Seguin’s) 91 and (Benn’s) 14 sometime in the future it’ll mean we’ve won Cups here.”

Lehtinen, who wore the No. 26, spent his full 875-game NHL career with the Stars and finished with 243 goals and 514 points. He won the Selke Trophy three times and was a member of the Stars during their 1999 championship run.

Zubov also won the Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999 after winning his first championship with the Rangers in 1994. The former blueliner participated in 1,068 career games and wore No. 56 with the Stars in 839 of them. He finished his career with 152 goals and 771 points.

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

Matt Frattin
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Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.

 

Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma express remorse after benching

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One day after getting benched for showing up late for practice — following an “epic” Super Bowl party, per Sportsnet — Calgary forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma apologized for their actions.

“We want to apologize to the organization, the coaches, our team especially, and the city of Calgary and the fans,” Gaudreau said, per the team’s Twitter account. “For us not to show up like that, and miss a game like that, it’s not professional on our part.”

“I’m a young guy and I’m a leader on this team,” Monahan added. “I’ve got to step up and take that back and earn that respect again.”

More on what transpired at Tuesday’s practice, from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.

Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”

“I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”

The trio was then subsequently benched for last night’s game against Toronto, which the Flames won 4-3.

Afterward, Hartley downplayed the incident, saying “it’s not like they robbed a bank,” before adding “they’re great kids.”

WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Penguins on Rivalry Night

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three
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Tonight, the New York Rangers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at Consol, in a rematch of the ’14 and ’15 playoffs (the Blueshirts eliminated the Pens from each of the last two postseasons, you’ll recall.)

You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s tilt:

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Penguins renew acquaintances on Rivalry Night

Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’

‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds

Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week

Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week